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Peach-Maple Pops

Enjoy the last bite of summer with these sweet and earthy peach pops.

In the Midwest, peaches don’t really come into full flavor until late August — just around the same time sticky hot days have us begging for a frozen treat, and right before September’s cool weather starts rolling in. When Fany Gerson’s new book Paletas arrived a few weeks ago, I was inspired to turn every farmers’ market find, including peaches, into a refreshing summer dessert or drink. With beautiful pictures and easy-to-follow authentic Mexican recipes, it’s a great go-to book for everything from raspadoa (shaved ice) to aguas frescas, as well as a slew of popsicles.

For those who think pops are as easy as just freezing juice, be warned: it’s important to follow a base recipe to account for the sugar and water content in diverse fruit varieties. The real fun comes in adding flavors and seasonings; take Gerson’s Apricot-Chamomile pops, Cocao-Corn Drink, and Spicy Mango Ice for inspiration. This combination of sweet, juicy peach and hearty maple syrup is one that I love, and it works well as an end-of summer, refreshing treat. For another Paletas spin, check out my horchata-peach pops for the Chicago Sun-Times, inspired by Gerson’s recipe for the rice-based drink.

Peach-Maple Pops, makes 8 to 10 popsicles

½ cup water
¼ cup sugar
4 medium-sized peaches, halved and pitted
½ tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon high-quality maple syrup, I prefer Blis
A pinch of salt

1. Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook until sugar has dissolved, then let cool to room temperature.

2. Puree the peaches, lemon juice, salt and sugar solution in a food processor; blend until smooth. Stir in the maple syrup and adjust seasonings to taste.

3. If using conventional molds, fill, snap on lids and freeze until solid, around 5 hours. If using cups or other unconventional molds, freeze until the popsicles are beginning to set, around 2 hours, then insert sticks and freeze until solid, at least another 3 hours. Follow manufacturers instructions for using an instant ice pop maker.

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